Jamaican Education : Perspectives in Education – Recommended changes required in the Jamaican Education System

VTDI Post Grad in education class presentation

VTDI Post Grad in education class presentation

These last few classes have been quite enthralling, fun, introspective and revealing. The teaching strategies utilized have made for challenging and fun sessions. I pray to facilitate teaching sessions like these one day.

In Perspectives in Education class tonight everyone received a piece of paper with a question on it. We had a few minutes to prepare an answer. This I suspect was in an effort to prepare us for our test next week. My question was “What critical changes would be required in the education system to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business;”

I joked with my teacher that I was being educationally discriminated against, because she looked for this question especially for me. Of course, she agreed. The question was not especially difficult for me because I had logical alternatives in my head, ready to run out.

Suggestions:

  • change the educational structure
    • eliminate early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary
    • too many years are spent at these levels before a child can begin a path towards mastery of his profession or skill
    • less years, more focus
  • change the curriculum
    • it presently takes (13-17 years) before a child can begin a career focused curriculum
    • too much time is spent on the general curriculum on subjects like geography, history, accounts, home economics, math, English; some of these a child will never use
    • the curriculum should vary and be more career focused curriculum
    • experts should be hired to make the recommended changes
  • have more specialized and career focused curriculum paths
    • by the time a student reaches 18 years, they should have learned a skill which will allow them to earn an income and contribute positively to society
  • have more schools
    • utilize buildings which already exist, make modifications where necessary
    • increase the number of schools in each parish
    • decrease the number of students per class
    • zone the schools
    • children should attend schools in their zone or parish
    • diversify the level schools in each parish; parents should not have to travel to another parish to get to an ‘A’ category school
  • have mandatory retraining of teachers and administrators
    • according to Ival Illich many teachers are not masters in their field, however they still teach, this shouldn’t be and they tend to be out of touch with the latest industry trends
    • teachers should be placed on lifelong learning programmes
    • teachers must frequently upgrade in the area of their mastery
  • have greater ‘accountability checks’ or ‘quality audits’
    • their should be constant assessment at every school
  • more structural layers or professionals in every school
    • in every school have a principal, vice, deans, behavior specialists, reading specialists, subject experts, senior teachers, junior teachers, interns, assessors, guidance counselors and social workers
  • invest more of the Jamaican budget in education
  • form more partnerships with countries like Cuba and Australia

Outcomes:

  • Jamaican Schools
    • better quality schools
    • better quality school administration
    • better policies
    • higher number of educated and literate people
    • less people being illiterate or barely functional or functional illiterates
    • higher passes in all subject areas
  • Jamaican Economy and Work
    • more qualified Jamaican professionals
    • more countries will want to invest in Jamaica
    • greater diversity in Jamaican business, medicine, manufacturing, engineering etc
    • more foreigners would come to Jamaica for ‘education tourism’
    • improvement in building, road and business landscape of Jamaica
    • better quality of life right across Jamaica
    • the economy would improve
    • more foreign exchange
    • stabilization of the Jamaican dollar
    • less crime in Jamaica
    • Jamaica would eventually gain first world status
  • Jamaican Family
    • less morning and evening traffic
    • fewer vehicular traffic
    • spend less on vehicle upkeep
    • Jamaican families would have more leisure time
    • Jamaican families would improve

 

 

Copyright © 2014 · All Rights Reserved · Denise N. Fyffe

She has published several books of poetry including Jamaican Honey and Sauce’, Jamaican Pebbles, Love under the Caribbean Stars and Jamaican Pebbles: Poetry Pocketbook.

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